Notre-Dame Two Years Later: A Renewed Commitment to Restoration
In a heart-wrenching turn of events, the beloved Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral caught fire on April 15, 2019. In the aftermath, the nonprofit Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris (formed two years earlier) stepped up to ensure the cathedral’s future. Their mission now includes rebuilding as well as restoring and preserving Notre-Dame.
Notre-Dame Post-Fire: A Timeline
- Almost as quickly as the fire was extinguished, there was a huge international outpouring of support and pledges to rebuild Notre-Dame.
- Before reconstruction efforts could begin, initial assessments were carried out to examine the extent of the damage.
- Then came the Safety Phase, which began in the summer of 2019, to secure the structure of the cathedral and prevent further damage. Safety works included:
o Installing a tarp above the vaults to protect from rain.
o Lead decontamination.
o Fortifying the north, south, and west gables, especially to protect the three large rose windows.
o Fortifying the most damaged pillars of the nave.
o Reinforcing the flying buttresses.
o Wrapping and protecting the gargoyles and other sculptural elements of the north and south towers.
o Removing burnt and melted scaffolding that had previously surrounded the spire.
- Now, the Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris are launching a new donor engagement platform to renew public interest and investment.
- On this new interactive website, donors can engage with specific cathedral artifacts workers saved from the fire debris and select which to invest in restoring.
- Each artifact is a “piece of the puzzle” awaiting restoration; each has a unique history and story.
- The pieces both make up the physical environment of the cathedral and tell stories of its history and cultural relevance.
- Donations can also go towards the cathedral’s restoration as a whole if a donor prefers.